September 27, 2021

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Crowds filled St. Clair Sunday for powerboat races

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Rain and delays for freighters didn’t keep the powerboats from entertaining race fans that filled St. Clair’s Palmer Park Sunday afternoon.

The boats raced up and down the St. Clair River for the 27th running of the St. Clair River Classic Offshore Race.

Last year’s races were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and organizers weren’t sure if this year’s would be held until several weeks before the event, said St. Clair County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jeff Bohm, who was acting as an emcee during the event. 

Between the races, boats on trailers lined North Riverside Avenue. Crowds gathered around them, looking at the boats and talking with racers. The river was closed to pleasure crafts, but freight traffic was still given the right-of-way, resulting in the delays.

More than 60 racers were registered for the event, including the 47-foot Miss GEICO. 

Races and entertainment held without Riverfest

For the second year in a row, the St. Clair Riverfest was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Funfest Events, a Mount Clemens-based concert and special event production company that oversees the festivities, announced the cancelation in April.

“The safety of the community, along with the safety of the volunteers and workers of the event, is of the utmost importance to us and was the driving force behind the decision,” the company said.

Instead, a partnership was formed with the St. Clair Chamber of Commerce and the St. Clair Riverview Plaza to plan this year’s entertainment. Bands such as Paul & Oates, The Gobies, Meldrum Brothers Band, Los Gringos and Alter Ego entertained the crowds Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

In the past, Riverfest has been held the same weekend as the powerboat races.

Contact Brian Wells at (810) 357-8668 or [email protected] 

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